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>> chris: i'm chris wallace, biden versus ryan is in the books. now, it is the debate rematch, for obama and romney. [♪] >> chris: with just 23 days, until the election, can the and -- come back from a bad night, and regain the upper hand? we'll talk with his campaign senior strategist, david axelrod. then, governor romney tries to build on his first debate, and continue his surge in the polls. we'll ask senior advisor, ed gillespie, how romney hopes to keep the momentum going, axelrod and ed gillespie, only on fox news sunday and also, more questions about the deadly terror attack on americans in libya. we'll ask our sunday panel about
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warnings the obama administration ignored, about and, the candidates learn the i. heat is on in the kitchen and on the trail. all, right now, on fox news sunday. ♪ >> chris: and, hello, again, from fox news in washington. with two presidential debates, in the next 8 days, and the polls getting much tighter, we may be reaching the decisive moment in the long race for the white house. we have questions for both sides, today, starting with david axelrod, senior strategist for the obama campaign, who joined us from williamsburg, virginia where the and -- is getting ready for tuesday's debate, and, david, welcome back to fox news sunday. >> thanks, chris, good to be with you. >> chris: let's start with the growing controversy over the killing of those four americans in libya. here is what vice president biden had to say about that, in thursday's debate. >> they wanted more security
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there. >> we were told they want more security -- we did not know they wanted more security there. >> chris: just the day before, several state department officials testified under oath that they were repeated -- there were repeated requests for more security and they were rejected. what is the vice president talking about? >> i think the vice president was talking about what the white house knew. there are embassies all over the world d, installations all over the world and these requests go into the security professionals at the state department and there is no doubt, some of these matters went into the security department at the state security agency at the state department. but it didn't come to the white house and that what is the vice president was responding to. >> chris: so, we're now getting into a definition of what the word "we" means, when the vice president says "we" he's not talking about the obama administration, because, the question was not about what you knew, it is that there were requests for more security. biden is not talking about the
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obama administration, he's not talking about the state department. he's just talking about himself and the and --? -- and the the president. >> no, he was talking about, he -- what he, the president knew because that he matters were handled at the state department. listen, here's the fundamental thing. nobody, there is nobody in the -- on the planet who is more concerned and more interested in getting to the bottom than the president of the united states, he feels personal responsibility for every representative he and ends around the world and he knew chris stevens, he admired chris stevens, so, look, we want to get to the bottom of it and the first order of business is to bring to justice those who committed the heinous act and, secondly, find out what went wrong and what adjustments need to be made to further secure our diplomats around the world. >> chris: let me ask you directly, does the president take personal responsibility for the fact that repeated requests for more security were made, and were rejected and that that may
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have contributed to the death of those four americans? does he take personal responsibility for that? >> chris, at the to say line level the president of the united states is responsible for everything that happens under his -- on his watch. these were judgments that were made by the security folks at the state department and, of course we will review that whole process and see how those decisions are made, why those decisions were made, and, how we adjust in the future to make sure that we are giving our diplomats the maximum protection we can. the reality is, that many of these folks serve in dangerous places in the world and you can't 100% guarantee anything but we want to get as close to 100% as we can and that is why these investigations are moving forward. >> chris: i want to ask you about this question of personal responsibility, by the president, because, in the debate the vice president also blamed the intelligence community for the false reports that came out immediately after, about the idea that this was a
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spontaneous demonstration that ran amok. in fact, the top state department official said this week he was asked about that and this is what he said: "that is a question that you would have to ask others. that was not the idea of the spontaneous demonstration, that was not our conclusion." question, with all the finger-pointing going on at the state don't and going on towards the intelligence community, whatever happened to the principle, the buck stops with the president? >> well, i think the president is responsible for everything that happens on his watch. and i mean, it isn't the it isn't us or anyone else who is suggesting that that is what the intelligence was at the time. the intelligence community itself, and director clapper has said that and in fact you had people from the state department testifying under oath, for example, when secretary rice, ambassador rice appeared on your program and other programs,
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anyone would have said the same thing that she said. that was the intelligence we were receiving. and, it is not a matter of blaming. that is just the fact. sometimes intelligence has to catch up with the reality on the ground. this was one of those cases. >> chris: well, but it doesn't quite square with the facts, charlene lamb, a top state department official said in the sworn hearing that she was in real-time communication, real-time communication with the people on the ground in benghazi. so, there was a difference of opinion between what the intelligence community was saying and what the state department was saying, the state department officials, we said, said that was never our conclusion that there was a spontaneous protest which raises the question. how soon after the attack did the president meet with the national security council, with people from state, with people from the -- the director of national intelligence, with all of the various people to try to sort out what happened in benghazi? >> look, we are sorting out what happened there. understand the preseident after
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the day of the attack called it an act of terror and charged everyone with responsibility to get to the bottom of what happened. why, and as the first order of business, to make sure we bring to justice the terrorists who were responsible for this act. so, the present dent has reacted as you would want him to react to this. but, getting back to your point on the state department. just a second, chris. you talked about the state department spokesman and you had representatives of the state department, testifying under oath, this week, before congress, and, they said, what i said to you, which is that anyone, based on this intelligence, that they had at the time, would have said what the administration said. what ambassador rice said, the day after the attack. >> chris: the reason i ask this is because you say, well, the president made a statement. yes. he did and then went off to a fund-raiser or a campaign stop in nevada.
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question, before he went to the fund-raiser in nevada did he meet with his national security council to try to sort out the shifting stories, because state said they never said it was a spontaneous demonstration and intel did, you are quite right. did he meet with the national security council before he went to campaigning in nevada? >> chris, i assure you that the president was in contact with all those who had information and responsibility in the national security chain about this incident. again, let me stress, this isn't anyone on this planet who feels a greater sense of responsibility for our diplomats, for our service people and we take it more personally than the present did and he's determined to get to the boment ttom of what happene, bring the terrorists to justice. >> chris: you talk about responsibility and the president's care, this is what
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stephanie cutter, campaign manager, had to say about the attack that killed the four americans. >> the entire reason that this has become this political topic it is, is because of mitt romney and paul ryan. >> chris: do you really believe, david, that the concern over libya is just politics, that has been ginned up by the romney campaign. >> there are two separate issues and there is a serious issue and we have been discussing it several minutes and it is essential we get to theottom of what happened and bring the terrorists to justice and this president is totally committed to that. and there is a separate issue of how governor romney handled it. i refer you back to the famous 47% tape, in the spring, where he told, in private, told his supporters that he was waiting for a crisis, waiting for an incident, to jump in on national security, and, he did. he jumped in right away. the day of these attacks.
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with half information in a way denounced by both republicans and democrats and there is no doubt he is working hard to exploit this issue and i would point to the fact that morning, in bloombe news, chris stevens' dad said that he regretted that people were trying to exploit this issue and i think we ought to follow the lead of the ambassador's family and allow this investigation to run and get to the bottom of it. and, make the adjustments that are necessary. by the way... >> chris: wait. wait. wait. wait. david, wait a minute. >> this interview... >> chris: the first u.s. ambassador killed since 1979. susan rice came on this show and five others and gave the american people a story that turned out not to be true and you are saying we shouldn't discuss this and wait for the investigation to be completed? >> no. >> chris: that is what you just said. >> chris, calm down, that is obviously not what i am saying. >> chris: you said that we should follow the lead of chris stevens' father...
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>> i'm happy, i'm happy to discuss it with you. and i do think that it is worthy of discussion. i think that that is different than the manner in which governor romney has conducted himself and it is not just me who attacked him for the way he handled this. he was roundly criticized by people from right to left, the republican establishment and the democratic establishment. >> chris: you are talking about what he said the day after the attack. >> and he is -- >>... except the obama campaign. >> well, i am just telling you from the beginning of the issue, before any facts were known, he was brazenly drying to e lly tr it and i understand that, that is politics and we're in the last weeks of the campaign and the governor is going to be talking about the issue but the president's concern is to get to the bottom of it and bring the terrorists to justice and bring whatever adjustments are necessary to ensure that in the
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future if there were lapses, those lapses are addressed. >> chris: all right, let's turn to a couple of other subjects, we went longer on libya than i expected. your campaign now concedes that the president had a bad night in denver during the first debate. what will he do differently on tuesday? >> well i think the president -- nobody is a harsher critic of the president than himself and i think he'll make some adjustments on tuesday and i will not get into details about strategic changes that he might make but i encourage you to watch and show up. i think it will be an interesting debate. >> chris: will he be more aggressive in taking on the romney record? >> i think he will be aaddressive in making the case for his view of where we should go as a country. and a country that is built around a growing, thriving middle class, not the top-down theory governor romney has and the other thing we'll do, we saw
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governor romney serially walk away from his own proposals and certainly the president is going to be willing to challenge him, on it, as we saw the vice president challenge paul ryan. you know, paul ryan was on your show a couple of weeks ago and could not answer how governor romney would pay for that he $5 trillion tax plan and had all the time after your show to prepare for the debate and in 90 minutes still couldn't explain it and we will give governor romney another chance on tuesday to square the impossible circle. >> chris: we'll, we will talk about that with ed gillespie in the next segment. i want to ask you about the latest numbers. in the real clear politics average of recent polls romney leads the and -- in national surveys, by a little over 1 point. and in key swing states, obama is leading 1.7%, in ohio, and less than half a point in virginia and romney leads in florida by three points. question: hasn't romney made real gains since the first debate and where is the race now?
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>> i think he made a little bit of progress after the first debate. i think he picked up some of these republican-leaning independents who lost heart watching his convention and the 47% tape and got some of those people back and made all the progress in the first couple of days an in fact, chris, this morning there is a poll that shows the and -- leading in ohio 5% and arizona by 2% and the data i see, suggests whatever progress governor romney made he made the first couple days after the debate and the race has been stable, and we are even or ahead in every one of these battleground states and the most tangible marker is, early voting, all over the country, there is a poll out this morning that suggests the president was winning 59% of those early voters and w have reason to believe we are doing well with the early voters. there is a lot of hype and as i've said, throughout, even when the polls were wildly positive for us, that the public polls are all over the place. and, the reality of the race on
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the ground is that we're ahead, it is a little bit narrower than before the last debate, but we feel good about where we are and we have a great ground game going and we will have a great debate on tuesday and expect governor romney will have a great debate, too. he's a great salesman and, that what is he did as a professional and he's good at it but at the end of the day, people will judge on our plan, our record and our vision for this future and we are looking forward to discussing that on tuesday. >> chris: david, thank you and thanks for taking time out of your debate prep and we'll all be watching, tuesday night. >> okay. looking forward to it, thanks. >> chris: up next we'll talk with ed gillespie, senior advisor to the romney campaign. ♪ we're sitting on a bunch of shale gas. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪ it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy. but we've got to be careful how we get it. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs.
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scuss governor romney's plan to keep his momentum going, as he heads into tuesday's debate, the senior advisor, ed gillespie. >> glad to be back. >> chris: what specifically is governor romney saying, the president is personally responsible for what happened in benghazi? or at least for the failure to provide more security? that he is personally responsible for the evolving, changing story of what happened in the spontaneous protests. >> in order to ensure we make the changes necessary to protect ambassadors and embassies and
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consulates in the right way going forward we need to know what went wrong in the days and months leading up to the attacks on benghazi... >> chris: [inaudible]. >> but you have to get accurate responses to the answers and they are constantly shifting stories from the administration from various parts of the administration and when vice president biden said, inhe debate, wednesday night, that we weren't told that they wanted more security, there, in libya, he directly contradicted the sworn testimony of the regional security director for the state department. >> chris: hold on -- >> that is a real problem, chris. >> chris: what about the argument that you just heard of david axelrod, when he said "we" he meant the president and the vice president. and, even the white house, and, quite frankly, there is no reason that they would have heard that people were asking for more security in libya, that is not something that would rise to the presidential level. >> first of all, we'll accept
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means your administration.erally when you are talking as the president or vice president of the united states including the state department and clearly what we saw this morning and what we have seen is an effort by president obama, and vice president biden to say, no, it was secretary clinton. the state department that you ought to be looking at and talking to and criticizing or questioning here, as opposed to us, in the white house. i'm not sure that that is sustainable, frankly, i think that the buck does stop at the -- in the oval office. and, you know, we'll see, on top of that, though, more important is, two weeks after the attacks the president of the united states stood in the well of the united nations and talked about the youtube video six times and did not say that these attacks were an act of terrorism. or a terrorist attack. but again continued for -- in six different instances citing a youtube video. >> chris: what is behind all of this? does the -- does governor romney believe that the president is
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engaged in a political cover-up? >> governor romney believes in order for us as a country to be more secure we need to learn from the lessons here of benghazi, we need to know what happens, going into the terrorist attacks and, what happened after. >> chris: you are ducking my question, which is, why does he think that the administration, two weeks after the fact, was still talking about the video, still talking about a spontaneous protest. why does he think they are doing that. >> we don't know. >> chris: you don't think it was an effort at political blame-shifting or covering up. >> there are more questions than answers, right now, chris and those question deserve answers and the american people have a right to know the answers, accurate answers. >> chris: okay. the president's mainline of attack against romney now is in effect that the governor is lying about his policies to make it seem that he is more moderate than in fact he really is. let's watch: >> president barack obama: after running for more than a year in
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which he called himself severely conservative, mitt romney is trying to convince you that he was severely kidding. >> chris: hasn't romney moved to the center, shifted some of his positions to the center, or at least his emphasis on those positions, in recent weeks? >> no, chris, the fact is, governor romney's positions don't comport with the 30-second attack ads the obama campaign has been running nearly a year now, at least over six months, millions of dollars of these 30-second attack ads distorting the governor's position and what 70 million americans saw last week in the debate and in another, you know, tens of millions more and the vice presidential debate are the real positions of governor romney, which would get or economy moving n, which would reform our tax code, by lowering tax rates by 20% across the board and offsetting those, reform that would unleash economic growth and they learned the facts in that debate and that is what the president is clearly frustrated about. >> chris: let's talk about the romney record, then, let's look specifically at abortion and what romney said to the "des
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moines register" editorial board this week. here it is: >> there is no legislation about abortion i'm familiar with, that would become part of my agenda. >> chris: but, here is the legislation that romney has promised in his campaign to sign: a law to protect unborn children capable of feeling pain to protect them from abortion. ending federal funding of planned parenthood because of their involvement in abores and he's said he wants roe vs. wade overturned, what does he mean when he says he has no legislative agenda. >> that is cut off, and he said he'd reverse federal funding for abortion, taxpayer funding for a abortions overseas and, pea repeal obamacare, and would be a pro-life president -- >> why, did he say, no legislative agenda when there are two bills -- >> he'd signed the bills and what they talked about was the economy, obviously and that is
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the governor goes around the country, seen the clip yesterday in ohio and he talked about his five-part plan, for restoring the middle class and getting the middle class growing again and the romney-ryan plan for a stronger -- >> he was talking about abortion, not the economy, he was talking about abortion. >> he has been consistent throughout the campaign, governor romney believes that roe vs. wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned and the american people should be allowed to address this important issue through their elected representatives and shouldn't be federal funding for abortion and will act immediately to ensure that that is not the case. by reversing the mexico city policy and would, indeed, sign the legislation, that protects, further protects innocent human life and he's completely consistent here. >> chris: all right, let's talk about what david axelrod brought up in the question of taxes. in the vice presidential debate, paul ryan, once again, got roughed up for failing to
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explain how you'll pay for the 20% cut in tax rates by limiting deductions. let's take a look. >> i want to work with congress how best to achieve this, that means successful. what we are saying, lower tax rates 20%, start with the wealthy, work with congress to it. >> chris: ryan is saying, we don't want to get hemmed in. let's leave it to congress. why is it all right to tell voters about the candy, everybody gets a 20% tax cut -- cut in their tax rates and let's not tell them about the spinach, where you lose deductions. >> in a campaign environment, to start negotiating in a campaign environment you will lock in republicans and lock in democrats... >> chris: you locked in the 20% tax rate. >> i think people understand that that is a broad principle, that that tax rate needs to come down and we need to broaden the
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base. that is the principle, the principle is also that we are not going to change the share of taxes paid by upper income iners and give tax relief to the middle class and it will be deficit neutral and you can do all of those things and have people understand that that election was about this and we need this kind of pro-growth tax reform agenda. and, then work out the details in the same way, ronald reagan did with tip o'neill and working across the aisle. the governor has a proven record of being able to work across this aisle. >> chris: there are a lot of question from independent people, how do you pay for it and you refuse say. >> what we have said is we are going to pay for it by limiting deductions in the polls -- and, by the way, making sure for the middle class, that protecting the home mortgage deduction and other important deductions for them and at the high end you would eliminate deductions and, you know, a lot of special interest loopholes that would allow you to bring down the rate 20%, six studies... >> chris: those are questionable, some of them are
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blogs and some from the aei... an independent group. >> these are credible sources, and, you know... >> chris: from a guy who is -- a blog from a high who was a top advisor to bush. these are hardly nonpartisan studies. >> harvard an aei and other studies -- >> you went say aei is a conservative think tank. >> i would say it is a right-leaning think tank. it doesn't make it not credible. >> chris: it doesn't make it nonpartisan. >> it does. it's not a partisan organization, i can tell you, there are many instances where there are things aei came out with and said, i didn't find to be necessarily -- in line with the republican party. >> chris: you say brookings institution is nonpartisan. >> left leaning and nonpartisan. >> chris: the president will be more aggressive tuesdaynight. how does the governor plan to do
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that. >> he'll talk about his agenda and policies and there is a choice election here between president obama's policies and governor romney's policies and it became clear in the first debate and the second debate and it was clear in the vice presidential debate and this is a big choice election and, the fact is, what we saw was, even if we changes his style, and whatever political tactic the president settles on as being in his best interest for the debate he can't change his record and can't change his policies. >> as you saw, i talked with david axelrod about the tightening polls, romney leads in the national polls and you have closed the gap on a lot of the other polls, where do think the race is now. >> it is very close and i think the wind is at governor romney's back and clearly momentum and you can see it on the trail, you can see it in the data. but, the country is pretty evenly divided and we felt it would be a close election and david axelrod and i don't degree on much, we couldn't agree on a stopped clock what time it is
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and i knew we were behind in the polls and, now we're ahead and, the momentum is clearly behind governor romney's side, and we will win in november. >> chris: thank you. >> thank you. >> chris: up next we'll ask if the biden-ryan debate changed things, and, what to expect on tuesday. t. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country.
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♪ >> we have a fundamentally different vision for america. and, quite frankly, a fundamentally different value
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set. >> the president is simply saying, more of the same. hope and change has become attack and blame. >> chris: that was vic president biden and congressman ryan, still arguing their case to voters, the day after their debate and it is time for our sunday group, brit hume, fox news senior political analyst, bob woodward of the "washington post" and author of the new book "the price of politics." syndicated radio hoist, laura ingraham and jeff zechlt z -- zeleny from the "the new york times," how is the race. >> obama may be ahead but it is so little, you would not notice and, it is not changed by the not necessarily attractive
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performance by vice president biden this week and that is where it stands, the rice started to tighten before the first debate and we all know who covered the stuff for years, late in the campaign, typically, from october 4th, races tend to tighten and it started to tighten and it may tighten further and at the moment, mr. romney has a little something going and the president has a challenge this week to try to turn that around. >> chris: jeff, as spending, the most time in the field with the candid and with voters, your sense, has the race tightened, because of the first debate. >> i think it is because of the first debate and no question, the race tightened and, i spent five days in ohio, this week, and, one thing i was struck by was the enthusiasm on the republican side them. crowds that governor romney was getting, i would describe as obama-size crowds from 2008. 10,000 people, day after day after day, at these rallies, county fairgrounds and these people that i spoke to, were not
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as intent on defeating the president which they are but they were saying in the affirmative, they want to elect mo mitt romney and i think a lot of people saw him in a different light and were proud of him and saw him that's republican nominee and the early voting things going on, democrats have an advantage but that is also helping to fire up republicans, and gives republicans three weeks to say, hey, we really need to get you out to the polls and there is a bit of a mixed opportunity here for the early voting. >> chris: laura, let's talk about tuesday's debate. what is job one for romney and, specifically, because it is clear, that obama is going to try to be more aggressive, more presents th present, how does he handle it. >> when obama is your face, which he will be, romney has to respond, it will be different, the town hall is friendlier to barack obama and he's good in that format and mitt romney has to bring his a game and, jeff is
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exactly right, i was in columbus and people said, we have a reason to believe that mitt romney can actually win this. three or four weeks ago, i traveled, places like kansas city they didn't have the same feeling and they do now and i should say, even in california, the local cbs-5 poll, showing an 8-point gain for mitt romney, he's still, what, 14 points behind in california but if he is moving up that far in california that is not insignificant. i think without a doubt, mitt romney in this debate has to show the connection and ability to be self-deprecating but on the march and staying off the defensive. when he's on the defensive i think he looks weak and he has to stay on the march. >> chris: what is the top priority, bob for the president in the debate and given it is a town hall, how does he get more aggressive with romney when he has to respond to the questions of real people about their real problems and he's not just getting questions from reporters? >> well, to answer your broad question, the race is volatile
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and can go either direction, i think. and what is really important for obama,e can't come on in the next debate, and all of a sudden be a different person. in a radical way. people are going to say, wait, is it showmanship? and i think the key question is, everyone is kicking around this idea of, are you better off, now, than you were, four years ago? i think the question people want answered is, how are you going to make me better off, in next year, in the next four years, and if you really look at the details, neither campaign is answered that sufficiently and, it is quite possible that somebody is going to come out with something and explain what they really mean, whatir plan is, and that could tip it. >> chris: bret? >> i think it strikes me that in this debate, answering questions from voters, the president will do well in being empathetic
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toward the voters and in expressing in his way, their concerns. mitt romney it has been suggested here, is not as bad at that but the question is, can he really, in that format, make up the ground lost in the first debate? i'm not saying it is impossible, but i think it is difficult, because, if you are saying, well, mary, the best way i can handle the problem you have just described is to keep us away from the policies advocated by my opponent here who wants to do x, y and z and burn down the house. i'm not sure that that kind of turning something into an attack will work well in that format so i think it may be more difficult for the president to recover as fully as i'm sure he'll try. >> chris: don't you think in a sense the town hall format potentially could be a real advantage for romney and here would be my argument, because romney has been portrayed as a rich, uncaring, unfeeling rich guy.
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and, if he were to come out and, when mary asks her question, you know, he plays some version of clinton's, i feel eyour pain, isn't it an opportunity to undo millions of dollars of obama -- >> stories dribbled out that demonstrate he can be really good at that. what will be interesting is, you can get the killer question from somebody at a town hall meeting. somebody can ask the kind of thing that sets everyone back. we could sit here and devise those questions and they can come from real voters and there may be a moment where somebody is going to ask one of those and it will really put either candidate or both on the spot. >> chris: i don't want to ignore the event of this last week, from your reporting, did the obama camp always intend for joe biden to be so aggressive, some would say over the top in his
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dealing with paul ryan? did they think that that was a good tactic. >> perhaps not always but after the debate in denver, absolutely. they knew they needed a moment to sort of quiet things down, on the democratic side, just show they had some fight in here and, really the -- to kind of shake voters' attention who may have been swayed by the first debate and try and get them to reexamine the ryan budget plan and from the denver debate that was the strategy to have the vice president sort of shake things up a bit. i'm not sure if all the smiling and heckling was necessarily part of the plan but, it is joe biden being joe biden. and, he was you know -- that perhaps was not ideal but if you listened to it on the radio, which not many people were, it was probably a different performance but they were fine with it overall because he got his points across. >> chris: do you think it moved the needle at all or is it a nonevent. >> it was a nonevent and it was a place holder and gave the president a few days to have
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democrats stop complaining about him but i think we're not talking about this very much, i mean, it is a forward-looking thing and the vice presidential candidates they're vice presidential candidates. >> chris: laura, quick last word. >> most people are going to remember one thing out of that debate. the smirking, the mugging to the camera, the interrupting, i think regular people who aren't all that political say, he's the vice president of the united states, is that the best you can do? and a lot of them in their lives are not laughing much and they are really struggling and the vice president laughing through most of the debate looked unserious an immature and i think that is the lasting image. >> chris: we have to take a break, when we come back a deadly terror attack against amcans in libya, we listen to a bigger issue in the race. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife.
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>> chris: check out fox newssunday.com for behind-the-scenes features, panel plus and a special monday preview of the week ahead, you can find it at foxnewssunday.com. be sure to let us know what you think. stay tuned for more from our panel.
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♪ >> it's not the hardships, not the gunfire, not the threats. it is dealing and fighting against the people, programs,
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and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me. and i added it by saying, for me, the taliban is on the inside of the building. >> chris: that was eric nordstrom, the top security officer in libya, last summer testifying to congress, wednesday, about his frustrations over to the being able to get more security approved by the state department and we're back now with the panel. brit, there were several big developments in the libya story, this week, at a congressional hearing, we learned the top security people, like nordstrom, on the ground in libya, repeatedly requested and were turned down for more security and we have the comments from vice president bides n in the debate, quote, we were not told, how politically vulnerable do you think the president is on libya. >> it is a significant vulnerability and it is on two tracks and one is a security and intelligence failure manifest by what happened there and the second is the possibility there has been a cover-up with real
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m mendacity from the administration and we know from an advisor to the state department, the state department knew immediately what was going on here and certainly the personnel in libya knew and the night of the ack, reinforcements were sent from tripoli to counter the paramilitary terrorist attack and they knew what was going on and the state department so far as we can tell never thought it was some kind of a spontaneous reaction that went crazy, they never thought... >> chris: in fact there was no spontaneous demonstration. at all. >> it was all quiet. all right, yet by the end of the week here comes susan rice, an official of the state department on this program and all of those others to say the best information they have from intelligence was, that this was a reaction to the video, sparked by what happened in cairo. i don't think that was ever true and i don't think the state department ever thought that and it is unimaginable to me that susan rice believed that was true. i think that susan rice went out on that sunday, because no one else would do it and i think it
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was a -- an utterly political act. >> chris: bob as one of the key people who broke the watergate scandal and i'm not comparing this to that, as you look at what happened in benghazi, the changing story of what happened, as you look at the security warnings before hand, are you troubled by the actions of the obama administration? >> yes. there are lots of unanswered questions and i love documents and they released some documents in this and if you go and look at the original request for more security, they say our policy, our goal here is to shift from an emergency footing to normalized security relationship. now, this is in march, the -- 6, 7 months ago and anyone looking at this, would say, wait a minute. read the document in which they say, oh, the situation is incredibly unstable. well, why are you trying to
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normalize your security in a situation that is visibly unstable? you even acknowledge that. so you've got a bad policy and anyone looking at that would say, wait, we are screwed up. we can't normalize here. so, that is the first problem and the second problem is, as soon as an ambassador is killed, the president should be more proactive, and be out there, he can go, you know, five minutes in the white house briefing room and say, this is really serious, we'll get to the bottom of it and we don't have the answers and all of this could have been nipped in the bud and it was not. >> chris: and what do you make of the fact that five days later, susan rice goes out and tells the story about a spontaneoustest when we now know the state department never thought there was a spontaneous protest and in fact we -- they were in touch real time with people on the ground in benghazi on the 11th.
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>> i don't think we know exactly why she did that or what was going on. but the key, which you pointed out, to david axelrod, is two weeks later, the president is at the u.n. citing this youtube video, i guess half a dozen times? as we now know that had virtually nothing to do with what happened in benghazi. >> chris: lauren? >> i think about susan rice going out t on this show and four other shows on sunday and i'd like to know, did she have any direct or indirect contact with anyone from the obama campaign? david axelrod, valerie jarrett, works in the white house, obviously is close to the president. >> chris: tom donelon. >> yes, and as they camped outside of "scooter" libby's house, during the valerie plame thing, are you camped out of the susan rice incident, whether she was put out as a sacrificial
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lamb or not... we have a dead ambassador, two navy s.e.a.l.s dead and another security officer dead and the president answers this the next morning by flying to vague for a fund-raiser. my -- i submit that if it were a republican president ant went done this way you would have reporters camped outside of hillary clinton's house and rice's house and demand the president do a full-blown press conference and maybe it is incompetence or serious mistakes but you have three violent attacks inside benghazi, the red cross office and consulate and postings on facebook we're coming after you on september 10th, they didn't have actionable intelligence? what? this is ridiculous and i think the part is partly culpable here. >> chris: jeff? >> it is something that will be litigated in the final weeks of the campaign, people are raising this as a question and this was not the case, three weeks ago, when ambassador rice was out
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making her statement. it was not really on the minds of people and now it is on the minds over the public and so that is one of the key things that we'll be discussing at this debate and at the next debate next week, next monday in florida on foreign policy and the obama administration and the campaign created a pretty large opening here for governor romney to make the argument about competence and leadership and things, and, it is up to the president to answer some of these questions, i don't think we have all of the answers now, and, i'm fascinated to see how he'll respond when asked by a real person or next week by a moderator, about this. he has not had many press conferences or explained himself and they have a lot of questions to answer. >> chris: do you think this has legs in the campaign? i mean, do you really think voters care about this? >> i don't know. there are only three weeks left and millions of people are already voting so i'm not sure if there is enough time for it to have a huge effect but on the margins it does plant more
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questions in people's minds about what exactly the administration is up to but in terms of congressional hearings, there is not much time before the election and if it was june or july, i think potentially more so. >> chris: brit? >> well, without suggesting that jeff ought to leave early and get over to susan rice's residence i think laura made a good point. it shouldn't be up to the campaign and candidates to try to get to the bottom of this before election day. this should be a job for all the good investigative reporters and media to be out on the story, investigative teams such as they are should be all over this, it seems to me it has an extremely strong scent of cover-up and looks likewas engineered in some way, just something about those five appearances on a sunday with a story that they had to know was off base. that doesn't smell right and ought to be exposed. >> but it is also a mindset, sometimes, when there is trouble, in the white house,
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there is too frequently a passivity. let's step back and let the statement department handle it. let's let somebody else handle it and not jump in, in -- and realize the seriousness of the moment. that... >> the white house. >> isn't it politically toxic and they wanted to... >> they shouldn't have done that but time and time again, the problem -- obama is out, saying we have al qaeda back on its heels and anyone in the intelligence committee knows that that is not true. >> that's where the president's role comes into play. >> you know the answer to this question, when you seek sunday show guests for the program, where do you get the answers from the administration? where does it come from. >> chris: the white house. >> exactly. for anybody... so, if anybody in -- anybody in the administration and if susan rice is going out it has been okayed, approved, by the white house, where it comes from, correct? >> chris: yes. >> thank you.
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>> chris: i don't like having to answer the questions. thank you, panel, see you next week. and, don't forget to check out panel-plus, we'll pick up right with this discussion on our web site, foxnewssunday.com to post a video before noon eastern time and make sure and follow us on twitter, @foxnewssunday. up next, we go on the trail. it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy. but we've got to be careful how we get it. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs. use the most advanced technology to protect our water. billions in the economy. at chevron, if we can't do it right, we won't do it at all. we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. ♪
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>> chris: with a hotly contested vice presidential debate, fiery campaigntoric and candidates looking for votes, it has been a heated week on the trail. >> i know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous middle east, aligned with us. i share this hope, but hope is not a strategy. >> president barack obama: you can't turn a page on the failed policies of the past if you are promising to repeat them. we cannot afford to go back to a foreign policy that gets us into wars, with no plan to end them. >> joe biden has been on the stage many times before, and so,
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sure, it is a nervous situation. >> looking forward to it. looking forward to it >> more people signed up for medicare advantage after the change. no -- nobody is... >> i know you are under -- you have to rest, but people will be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other. >> is the vice presidential is... >> he loses points for looking like an arrogant cheshire cat back there. >> emergency... too much. >> those are ready... >> i've got news. for governor romney. and congressman ryan. america's neither dependent nor is it in decline. >> at a time when america has a jobs crisis, wouldn't it be nice to have a job creator in the white house?
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>> get some this weekend! >> chris: have candy? and there are 23 more days, of campaign fun for the kids and a tough grind for the grown-ups, now, this program note: tune into this fox station and fox news channel for complete coverage of the next presidential debate. tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. and that's it for today, have a great week and we'll see you that's it for today, have a great week and we'll see you next "fox news sunday" captioning by, closed captioning services, inc.
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